RAGE Review (PS3)
One Thing Done Well: Shooting Stuff
Luckily, despite the fact that the single player campaign rarely evolves much beyond, “Drive to location, kill everything, return to base,” RAGE does manage to reproduce, again and again, some really fun battle situations. The game almost always makes you feel powerful, capable and in possession of overwhelming firepower, and the longer the campaign progresses, the more exciting it becomes. By the end of the game, you’ll have maybe eight guns in your possession, but almost all of them will have multiple ammo types that basically reshape them into several weapons. Your assault rifle rips apart armor with the right bullets. Your shotgun can also spew explosive blasts perfect for annihilating mutants. Your crossbow can take over the minds of your enemies and turn them into living grenades.
When you’re fighting your way through various enemy bases, RAGE is at its best, and there are times that it can be really good. On the fly, you’ll loot all kinds of items and ammo, many of which can be sold, most of which can be used to build new items. Engineering things on the fly like sentry bots and wingsticks, that three-bladed boomerang we’ve seen so much of, can be a life-saver.
You’re inundated with cool ways of accomplishing any given kill, so much so that you probably don’t need them all. For example, I abandoned several weapons to the dark spots in my inventory for much of the game in favor of the spectacular shotgun, and used explosive RC cars only during the mission I first received them. Other players will undoubtedly find other ways. In a Bulletstorm-like way, fighting battles in RAGE can make you feel like an utter bad-ass, as you deftly pop an exploding crossbow bolt into one enemy and finish another with a Wingstick decapitation, before spinning and shotgunning the guy running up behind you — these moments are many in RAGE, and they feel great.
The enemy AI also makes things sporting, if not altogether particularly difficult. Bad guys move realistically, run from position to position in order to try to pin you down, dodge when you’re sighting them up and actually regroup or run from you when you’ve thinned a large group down to just one man. But they also pop up predictably, charge you relentlessly if they’re of the melee type, and refuse to die even though you’ve shot them in the face five or six times. To be sure, the AI in this game makes things interesting — but the differences in the way one bandit clan fights compared to another are largely superficial, and the only enemies that really change things up are the suicidal mutants, which combine resilience with a lack of survival instinct.